Hockey Classic Seasons Preview: 1952-53 and 1983-84

All-Time Greats Skate at Your Place with
Strat-O-Matic’s Classic Hockey Seasons
By Glenn Guzzo
            This year’s NHL playoffs will barely be over when it will be time to time-travel to decades past, when Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe and Rocket Richard ruled the rinks.
            Courtesy of Strat-O-Matic’s devotion to re-creating classic seasons, hockey fans will re-live the 1952-53 NHL (when the Red Wings of Howe, Ted Lindsay, Red Kelly and Terry Sawchuck dominated and when Montreal’s Maurice Richard became the NHL’s all-time leading goal scorer).
            Then full-tilt to the explosive-scoring era of 1983-84, when Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers record-setting 446 goals (Gretzky had 87 and two teammates topped 50) seized the Stanley Cup from the dynastic New York Islanders of Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, Denis Potvin and Billy Smith to begin a dynasty of their own.
            Check it out:

1952-53 NHL: For the fifth consecutive season (in a run of seven straight), Detroit won the regular season, dominating with 90 points in the 70-game season. But second-place Montreal (75 points), though only eight points better than fifth-place Toronto, won the Stanley Cup.
            Detroit’s Gordie Howe led the NHL with 49 goals, 46 assists and 95 points and won his second consecutive MVP award. Linemate Ted Lindsay (32 goals, 71 points) was a distant second in league scoring, while Red Wings Alex Delvecchio, Metro Prystai and Red Kelly also were among the top eight. Goalie Terry Sawchuk won his second straight Vezina Trophy.
            Montreal’s Maurice Richard netted 28 goals and became the NHL’s all-time leading goal scorer. New York’s Wally Hargesheimer had 30 goals and Boston’s Fleming Mackell had 27. Chicago made the playoffs for the first time since 1946. Though the Rangers finished last, goalie Lorne Worsley was the league’s top rookie in a stellar group that included New York’s Andy Bathgate, Dean Prentice and Harry Howell.
1983-84 NHL: What a season! On the way to an NHL-record-tying fifth straight Stanley Cup, the New York Islanders lost a five-game final to Edmonton, which began its own dynasty (four Cups in five seasons, five Cups in seven).
            The Oilers’ 57 wins, 119 points and 446 goals (setting the NHL record for the third straight season) dominated the regular season, and then the playoffs. Wayne Gretzky (87 goals, 205 points) won his fourth straight scoring title and fifth straight MVP. With Jarri Kurri (52 goals, 113 points) and Glenn Anderson (54 goals), Edmonton became the first team with three 50-goal scorers. Defenseman Paul Coffey invoked memories of Bobby Orr with 40 goals, 86 assists and 126 points to finish second to Gretzky in scoring.
            Mike Bossy (51 goals, 118 points) and Bryan Trottier (40 goals, 111 points) again led the Islanders.
            This season had so much more. A rookie (Buffalo’s 18-year-old Tom Barrasso) won the Vezina Trophy. And the Sabres’ 103 points were just one short of Boston in a dramatic Adams Division race that included 94-point Quebec, with the league’s No. 3-4 scorers, Michel Goulet (56 goals, 121 points) and Peter Stastny (46 goals, 119 points).
            Washington, with Norris Trophy winner Rod Langway and Selke winner Doug Jarvis, set a franchise record with 101 points, but finished second to the Islanders in the potent Patrick Division, where Philadelphia had 98 points and the New York Rangers had 93.
            The carded teams: Edmonton, the Islanders, Boston, Buffalo, Quebec and Washington.
            The other teams are available both in the print out utility and in the Windows game.